2018 and 2019 Years in Review

I write a blog post at the beginning of every year to set goals and reflect on the goals I set the previous year. I never finished writing this post, though. It has sat in my draft box for nearly an entire year. I’ve written a couple posts since starting this one, but my heart has not been invested in sharing my stories this year. I decided it was time to finish this. Anything in black was written back in January. Anything in pink was added today. 

My 2018 goals and reflections:

  1. Read the first Harry Potter book: CHECK!
  2. See the Northern LightsCHECK!
  3. See the Cherry Blossoms in Japan: 1/2 CHECK!
    The full bloom was early this year, but I did catch the tail end, just not in all the famous spots.
  4. Participate in a Color Run: CHECK!
  5. Get involved in a cause: FAIL.
  6. Finish Orff Certificate (Level III in July): CHECK!
  7. Attend Orff Afrique in Ghana as part of my professional development: CHECK!
  8. Sell my house in Illinois to pay off my house in Michigan. CHECK!
  9. Fast for the entirety of Ramadan: FAIL. 
  10. As always, 5 new countries: FAIL.

New Countries/Territories in 2018: Russia, Norway, Japan, Ghana
Countries Revisited in 2018: England
Running Tally: United States, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, England, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Monaco, Malta, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Canada, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Hong Kong, Ukraine, India, Seychelles, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Ireland, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Japan, Ghana (45)

The best thing about this year was Orff Afrique in Ghana. It was an incredible way to better myself as a professional while experiencing a new culture in an authentic way.

The biggest challenge of 2018 was the passing of my mother on the 25th of October just one month shy of her 62nd birthday and just two days before I was scheduled to go home for my fall break. She was too young.

That’s as far as I was able to write. I miss her every single day. She deserves her own post, so I’ll share more on her passing and our sweet memories together separately. 

So what’s in store for 2019?

This is the part of my blog post I didn’t even bother to start at the beginning of the year. The 2018-2019 school year was the hardest I’ve ever experienced both personally and professionally. I think 2019 has been about finding my new normal. I didn’t set any goals for this year. And that’s okay. 

***

So, since I didn’t write any goals for 2019 and it’s almost 2020, here’s the 2019 Year in Review, written December 2019. 

New Countries/Territories in 2019: Sri Lanka, Georgia, Armenia, Mexico, Thailand, Australia
Countries Revisited in 2019: Latvia, Romania, Greece, England, USA
Running Tally: United States, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, England, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Monaco, Malta, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Canada, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Hong Kong, Ukraine, India, Seychelles, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Ireland, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Japan, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Armenia, Mexico, Thailand, Australia (51)

The best things about this year were snorkeling with whale sharks in Mexico, eating my way through New Orleans, and having my Dad visit Istanbul for the first time. It was nice to keep my eye on him for awhile. 

The biggest challenge of 2019 has been continuing to process my grief. I never knew I could cry so hard for so long.

My 2020 Plan of Attack: 

  1. Read 20 books (I read 19 in 2019) (Finish Harry Potter?)
  2. Get into a stretching routine (I don’t want to go as far as saying “Do Yoga”, so let’s start here)
  3. Do an overnight backpacking trip (Arctic Circle Trail? Too ambitious?)
  4. Have a reunion with my girlfriends from our study abroad year
  5. Catch up on my blog (Thailand, Georgia, Armenia, Mexico, New Orleans, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Japan…)
  6. Eat more veggies (I love salad, but I hate preparing salads)
  7. Learn to use Photoshop
  8. Apple Teacher Certification
  9. Update my resume (I haven’t done so since 2014)
  10. Finish at least one of the three blankets I have already started to crochet (a la 2017)
  11. Five new countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Greenland, Oman, Argentina?)

Happy New Year, everyone! May we all find peace and joy.

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